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Dr. Bruno Oberle (IUCN): “Vision of a world where life in harmony with nature is possible”

A flowering meadow

A plea for the conservation and restoration of biodiversity

“Our vision is of a world where life in harmony with nature is possible”, Dr. Bruno Oberle, director of the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) stated at ITB Berlin 2024: ”The biological diversity of our planet must be valued, maintained, restored and used in a meaningful way.” Simply expressed: By 2030 there must be more nature all around the world than in 2020 – and after that nature must be allowed to recover.”

The Swiss official emphasised: “Over the past 50 years the world’s population has doubled, the world economy has quadrupled and world trade has expanded tenfold, resulting in a massive demand for more energy and raw materials.” The influence of human beings has led to major changes to nature all over the world, and most of the indicators reveal a sharp decline in ecosystems and biological diversity.

“In view of the significant decline in natural capital and a recognition that nature is of decisive importance in overcoming climate change, we have to take immediate action”, Oberl stated. ”Our economy, our livelihood and our well-being are dependent on nature. Food, water and clothing: no human life would be possible without nature. ”

Nature is therefore an asset, just as manufactured capital and human capital are assets. “In one way or another every business depends on nature. 55 % of worldwide GDP, amounting to around 58 trillion US dollars, is dependent to a greater or lesser degree on nature”, Oberl stated.

It is vital to ensure that at least 30 per cent of damaged ecosystems can be effectively restored by 2030. Furthermore at least 30 % of areas occupied by land and inland waters as well as coastal and maritime areas, especially those areas of particular importance for biological diversity and the performance of ecosystems, must be effectively maintained and managed.